Brain health team visits Hawkes Bay

23 February 2017
Image of Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull
Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull

Brain health research will be the focus of a display at this week’s Te Matatini Kapa Haka festival in Hawkes Bay.

New Zealand’s eminent neuroscientist, Distinguished Professor Sir Richard Faull will be on the ground, talking about brain health with festival-goers.

He will be joined by Māori researchers and clinicians from Rangahau Roro Aotearoa -Brain Research NZ, including stroke expert, Professor Alan Barber with Dr Hinemoa Elder and Dr Margaret Dudley.

They will also be offering free blood pressure checks to festival-goers along with brain health giveaways in both Te Reo and English.

The researchers hope to recruit more Māori participants for potential brain research studies and raise awareness about brain research among the Māori community.

“Our goal is to improve brain health outcomes in the Māori communities in Aotearoa,” says Sir Richard who co-director of Brain Research New Zealand - Rangahau Roro Aotearoa and director of the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland.

“When researchers, clinicians and community groups work together, we can strive towards developing new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders,” he says.

“Our world-class researchers are committed to discovering novel interventions, treatments and preventative measures for stroke, dementia along with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases.”

Brain Research NZ includes more than 70 research groups located at the Universities of Auckland, Otago, Canterbury and AUT along with Plant and Food Research, and District Health Boards that cover New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff.

“This is the first Centre of Research Excellence to be focused on diseases and disorders of the ageing brain,” says Sir Richard.

“Our research aims to improve Māori health and wellbeing during ageing, and incorporate Matauranga into research, as well as training Māori neuroscientists and clinicians,” he says.

Brain Research New Zealand regularly holds public forums about their brain research that can provide a community with more information about brain health.

This includes the latest information about research into Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease.

These forums also provide opportunities to ask questions and provide feedback to some of New Zealand’s best neuroscientists and clinicians on experience as a carer, patient or family member.

“We can provide opportunities to extend people’s support networks and to participate in leading New Zealand research into novel interventions, preventative measures and treatments for ageing related neurological disorders and diseases,” says Sir Richard.

“We aim to provide better health outcomes for older people through community partnerships and communicating our research to people,” he says.

For media enquiries email Suzi Phillips, Media Advisor, Medical and Health Sciences.